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Fair Warning: This post is LONG. And detailed. However, I not only want to remember everything for the future babies but I also know so many people have wanted help with their own potty training experiences. So here it is 🙂
Kye first used the potty when he was 19 months old. I went in to “hardcore potty training mode” and had him trained pretty quickly. You can read about his first time using the potty HERE and then my tips and tricks about training HERE and my journal about the entire experience HERE.
Many, many people constantly told me I got lucky with Kye training so young. When I had Britt I kinda had a goal in my mind to also have her potty trained before turning two. Mostly because I simply LOVE the freedom that comes from not dealing with diapers. But, to be honest, part of me wanted to have her trained young to prove that Kye wasn’t “luck” 😉 I did a lot of pre-training prep (which you can read my tips on that HERE) but did NOT want to start the training process with Britt until summertime when we would be home a lot and when I’d be all healed from my foot surgery and when life would just be easier.
Well, Britt had other plans 😉 On Wednesday March 27th (Britt was 15 months old…) I was home with the kids alone as Zach was out of town on work. Britt had been struggling a bit with a few times of going poop in the tub. We always had her sit on the potty before getting in the bath but she’d never gone before. I wasn’t sure how to handle the poop in the tub stuff but decided to get onto her for it. I mean pooping in the tub is NOT OKAY! I didn’t spank her or anything but I just scolded her the times she did it and kept saying “poop goes IN THE POTTY” to her while I cleaned it out.
On this particular evening she was SO fussy in the bathtub. She kept fussing and looking at the toilet so I thought maybe she had to poop and knew she shouldn’t go in the tub. I kept putting her on the potty and then she’d get fussy again so I’d put her back in the tub. Back and forth. Finally I just let her sit on the potty. She sat there for 40 minutes. Kye played in the tub and I read her the potty book and then I finally just gave up and put her to bed.
The next night (Thursday March 28th) again she was fussy a bit in the tub. Then she actually stood up and pointed at the potty. So I got her out right away and sat her on the potty. She pointed to the place where I was keeping the potty book so I read it to her again. She PUSHED and went poop in the potty three times as well as went tee tee once. When she was done she pointed to the tub to get back in there!!!
Honestly, while I was SUPER proud of her, it couldn’t have been worse timing. My surgery was ONE WEEK AWAY and I really didn’t need to be dealing with all of this at the same time. I debated what to do and discussed it with Zach and we both agreed. We didn’t want to miss the window of opportunity to have her trained young and since she asked to go to the potty, pushed to get it out, and went in the potty…it showed she was ready.
So the next morning (Friday March 29th) Zach stayed home with Kye so I could run Britt up to Target to pick out her big girl panties and treats to start the training process. That next week was Kye’s Spring Break and I didn’t have my surgery until that following Friday so I had a solid seven days where I could stick close to home!!! Other than Easter we would be able to pretty much be on “potty training clock” without any major issues.
Since Kye didn’t use but like three of his pullups from when he trained, I found all the left overs and put her in them to take her to Target. Poor little sister rocking out some Cars boy Pull-Ups!!! We actually still have quite a few left since she barely used any so kid #3 will be rocking them too 😉
She did NOT go in the potty that morning. She didn’t have an accident at the store. She stayed dry and clean the entire time with no issues. She was SO cute and SO excited about the panties which surprised me. She’s just so little! I didn’t expect her to have the reaction she did but she even held them in the car on the way home! I bought three packs of different brands. She’s only wearing a 12 month sized clothes and all the panties I could find were size 2T. Of all the brands if you are training your child at a younger age, the Hanes brand def fits the best. She got some Minnie Mouse ones, plain pink ones, and some of those thick Gerber training ones (which was WAY too big).
For her reward treats I bought a MASSIVE box of fruit snacks and decided I’d give her one fruit snack each time she was dry and clean when I would check her and then when she actually went in the potty as well. With Kye, the treat phase was very short but I wasn’t sure with her being so young how long the process would take so I figured fruit snacks were something I could give to Kye in the event that we didn’t use them all up for training!
When we got home we again tried to use the potty but she didn’t go. I put her in her new panties and let her run around just in panties for the day! I still continued to put her in diapers at naps and as well as at bed time (and I continue to do that and will do that until she’s old enough to be nap and night trained). The one downside of training young is that I’ve had to go ahead and pack away all of her onesies. There is no way I’ll ever wanna deal with all those snaps before taking her to the potty so several with the tags still on are being packed away for future babies and I’ve had to go shopping to get her some shirts to wear 🙂
Day one of training went well. She had one accident in her panties that morning and I didn’t scold her for it but I rushed her to the potty right away and then I had her feel the wetness of her panties and said “oh no! You didn’t stay dry and clean!” She smelled them and touched them and said “yuck!”
I had to go to the hospital that morning with Kye for my pre-op stuff and Kye’s bloodwork (I told you, this potty training was like the WORST timing!) so Zach kept her and she never would go on the potty. We were taking her every 20 min or so just like we did with Kye in the early stages. But yet she wouldn’t go! She was staying dry which is good but she wasn’t going in the potty either.
After her nap right when she woke up she pointed to her diaper and said “tee tee ugh oh.” Which surprised me! I mean she understood what tee tee was and that it wasn’t supposed to be in her diaper!!! After I took her to the potty she went into the hallway and picked up her panties and tried to put them on herself which just further showed me that she really was ready for all of this!
By the end of Day 1 she was helping me check herself to see if she was dry and clean on her own and she had two accidents that afternoon. One in the kitchen and looked at me with this look that let me know she knew she shouldn’t have gone in her panties. Again during dinner time she had an accident but then she DID go in the potty right at bath time!!! Only ONE time in the potty on day 1!!!
Day 2 was on Saturday March 30th and the day we did all of our pre-Easter activities. She didn’t have any poop in her nighttime diaper and wouldn’t go on the potty again. About 15 min after breakfast she had an accident then at nap she hardly had any wetness at all.
She hadn’t pooped in 24 hours. She wasn’t going on the potty but she also didn’t have any more accidents all day. We kept her on the potty the majority of her awake times. She’s very active and we ran out of ways to get her to sit on the potty so we even resorted to busting out the ipad and letting her watch videos of her and Kye on it. SO unlike us!!!!
Even at the egg hunt that afternoon she stayed dry. She never went one time all day in her panties OR in the potty. Even at naps she wasn’t very wet. I was worried. Was I pushing her to do something she wasn’t ready for!?!?
I reread Pottywise and it helped me feel better about her being ready. She was staying dry for 2 hours or more which was actually a GOOD sign of readiness. Reading through the list of how to know when your child is ready to train made me realize that Britt was actually MORE ready for this than Kye was when we trained him! It said that it’s common to have to learn the association with going into the potty. Britt obviously understood she was supposed to stay dry and clean but she was struggling with actually going when sitting on the potty. I just had to have patience and give it time.
I’m also thankful for my sweet friend Laura. She potty trained her daughter at a young age and her experience was VERY similar to Britt’s. She helped remind me to keep doing what I was doing and helped me trouble shoot everything.
Even though both Kye and Britt potty trained very young, their experiences were very different. Kye would go every single time I set him on the potty. I realize now that part of that may have been due to his private issues that ended up getting corrected with his surgery. He couldn’t fully empty his bladder which is why he had to go all the time! With Britt, she could stay dry and clean WAY longer than Kye could (still at 4 years old I think Kye uses the bathroom more than Britt does at 17 months haha) but she struggled with making herself actually put the tee tee and poo poo in the potty. With Kye, he’d only have to sit on the potty for a few minutes before going. With Britt we’d sit and sit and sit and sit and NOTHING would happen.
On Sunday March 31st (Easter) we put her in panties with the pull-ups on top. I personally am anti-pull ups as I think feeling the wetness of the underwear is important in the learning process. But I was SO nervous she’d have an accident so putting the pull-ups on the top of the panties allowed for that protection while also still allowing her to feel wet if she did go. I actually brought the travel potty seat with us as we were going to Lakeland for church then to Mema’s house afterward to celebrate Easter.
During church I fed her lunch (it was a crazy day and our fam all ate during her nap so I fed her at church) then I took her to the potty. I literally sat in that bathroom stall for the ENTIRE HOUR. I brought my ipad even to let her play some random games on it (I downloaded an app for their Jingle and Bell Hallmark dogs and let her try that? We don’t do kids on the ipad typically but I was desperate!). She was happy as can be but did not go.
She still had not gone poop since Friday. I was worried about her and wasn’t sure what to do. On the drive to Mema’s house she started crying SUPER HARD and was sobbing “tee tee tee tee tee tee!” We pulled up and had to wait for Mema to get there to let us in. I RACED for the bathroom. She had gone tee-tee in her panties and there was a little skid mark in them too but as soon as I set her down she pooped right away! I was just SO relieved that she’d finally pooped!!! And I was so proud too that she had been upset about going in her panties and that she held in the poop so well like that!!!
She stayed dry the entire rest of the time we were at Mema’s! And the ride home as well 🙂 That evening I thought I’d try letting her just go naked without panties as I’d read a lot of things about that method and it being helpful. She had an accident and tee teed on the carpet and didn’t have any type of reaction or even really seemed to know she went so I decided to keep going with panties on as I think the wetness against her skin helps recognize when she does have an accident. She had no other accidents that day and also no other times going tee tee or poop on the potty.
On Monday April 1st she didn’t have much at all her in night time diaper. She stayed dry all morning before nap but didn’t ever go in the potty. She did go in her diaper during nap time. But it’s like Zach said, who cares? If she stays dry all during her awake times and just saves it and goes in her diaper at nap, that’s fine with us! haha!
I decided that day to load her up on juice. She’d never had juice at all until that day but I was just wanting her to GO POTTY. So I gave her diluted apple juice around the clock. She had a tiny accident in her panties after lunch and squatted down and rubbed her panties when she did it so I rushed her to the potty.
At that point we were LIVING on the potty. Sitting and sitting and sitting. And she was over it. She’d get upset anytime we came near the potty. I didn’t want her to hate it or to resent us for it or to be pushing her too hard so I decided to stop trying to get her to sit there for long periods of time. I focused on praising her for being dry and clean (but did stop giving treats for being dry at that point) and I took her to the potty every 20 min or so but didn’t force her to sit on it. She’d sit and want to get up so I let her get up. No big deal.
When I say I talked up her being dry and clean…I mean that. Literally I watched her LIKE A HAWK constantly. I was every few minutes checking her for dryness and having her check herself and praising her for being dry. It was like a broken record over and over and over!
The next couple of days were more of the same. She’d have a couple of accidents, a few rare moments of using the potty, mostly going in her diaper at times of sleep. She quickly started learning to sign “all done” when she was done using the potty. This was HUGE as it allowed me to stop stressing over making her sit there and instead let her tell me when she was done. She has been great at signing “all done” at meal times when she’s finished eating and she’s so clever to start using the sign while potty training too 😉
By Wednesday April 3rd we fully stopped doing anything to keep her on the potty for long periods of time (no more ipad!) and we instead used the basket of toys and books and sang a lot of songs 😉 When she had any accidents she would get VERY upset so it let me know that she fully understood she’s supposed to stay dry and clean and that she’s not supposed to go to the bathroom in her panties. That day she also had an accident and pointed to her privates while going and said “tee tee” I read that having her sit on my lap while I went might help her see things from that perspective so I tried that and she was very interested in watching the process. She also started to point to her privates while sitting on the potty and saying “tee tee” so she FOR SURE knows what’s going on down there haha
Thursday April 4th was the day before my surgery. At that point she still wasn’t very consistent in using the potty. It’d only been 6 days and she was still not even 16 months old yet. I knew it was okay, but I really felt so torn as to what to do. I couldn’t expect Zach and Mrs. Charlotte to deal with the potty training around the clock like I’d been doing. It wasn’t fair to them. I also felt horrible about the idea of stopping Britt’s training b/c she had come so far.
Laura and Kelly were both so helpful and supportive. We talked a lot about the ability to hold in the tee tee and the ability to release it and how they are two different functions and abilities. Britt was a pro at holding it in (which Kye wasn’t at all for such a long time in the training!) but she struggled with the ability to release. Kelly suggested buying a baby doll that goes potty to help Britt understand the process (I ordered this one!) and Laura suggested being very calm and relaxing about the experience. Instead of telling her to “push push push” like we had been doing, we instead started being super calm with her and saying “release the tee tee Britt” haha. We also tried putting some warm water on her privates and running the faucet while she was on the potty to help her go. She caught on to everything SO QUICKLY that I felt like it would just “click” at some point and once that moment happened that she’d be good to go 🙂
I talked with Zach and Mrs. Charlotte since so much of the training process for the next couple of weeks would fall on them. Zach and I decided to take things easier and put her in pull ups. Still take her to the potty often but have her in the pull ups rather than the panties to make it easier on both he and Mrs. Charlotte. Less concerns over accidents and less mess when they did occur. I had a total meltdown about it. I’m SO blessed to be a stay at home mom and truly am typically able to put the needs of my children before my own. I felt SO MUCH guilt over putting Britt in pull-ups. I know that may seem silly but I truly felt she was ready to be trained and that because of MY surgery she was having to slow things down.
While I felt really torn about it all, as soon as I put the pull ups on her my stress levels went way down. I felt a lot better about having my surgery and getting my recovery that I needed knowing I wasn’t putting a ton of added stress on those who would be helping care for me and the kids during that time. Mrs. Charlotte came and picked up the kids and called me like 30 min after they left and said that Britt went tee tee in the potty at her house!!! How ironic is that????
During my recovery (10 days of not having the kids!) Britt did SO awesome. Zach and Mrs. Charlotte were AMAZING to make the potty such a top priority during such an crazy time but Britt started actually going in the potty more often and had very few accidents!!! I was SO impressed and SO thankful that they took it so seriously 🙂 Mrs. Charlotte just has this magical touch with Britt. She gets that child to smile more than anyone can and she was able to get her to go in the potty more than the rest of us could as well 🙂
Due to my recovery we didn’t fully get back to training (as in back in panties over the pull ups) until Saturday April 20th. I started having the kids solo on Monday the 15th but getting around was tough and I needed a lot of rest so I didn’t want to overload myself. When we started back to it she did AMAZING. She stayed dry and clean the entire weekend and even went in the potty FOUR TIMES on Sunday April 21st!!!
That following week she stayed dry all day for the entire week! No accidents until Friday morning (April 26th) and that was truly a legit accident. Bless her heart she was cutting her canines and legit did not sleep AT ALL the night of Thur April 25th. It was the first time since she was under 8 weeks old that she didn’t sleep solid through the night. She was so upset and confused and when we got her up she tee teed all over me!
We realized we needed to chill out on taking her so often to the potty and just let her kinda be the guide. I think because Kye had to go ALL the time when he was training and had issues with holding it, that we just assumed Britt would be the same way. However, she can hold it like a PRO so we started taking her less and it went great. We also realized that we could use how much she idolizes Kye to our advantage! We would have him go potty first, praise him, give him a treat, then have her go and almost every time she will go right after he does.
I was nervous the first time Britt and I took Kye to and from school. It was Thur April 25th and was the first time leaving the house in panties since we started back on training. She did awesome and stayed dry with no issues! She even went to the potty four times that day 🙂 We took her to her first movie at the movie theater that Saturday and she stayed dry throughout the whole movie!
On May 1st (a Wednesday) she walked up to me, pointed to her panties and said “tee tee.” I rushed her to the potty and she not only went tee tee but pooped as well! That same night I had already put her night time diaper and pjs on her and she was dancing before bed and stopped, looked at me, pointed to herself and said “tee tee” again so again I rushed her to the potty and she went! I feel like that is a HUGE deal for her to a) recognize the need to go b) hold it in c) communicate the need to go d) especially when she HAD a diaper on and she knows she does go in her diaper during naps/night time.
When we got back to training after my surgery I did bust out the new doll and let her use it and play with it and showed her how the doll went to the potty. Britt cracks me up b/c she “got it” so quickly and would dump the babies “tee tee” into the toilet and would just bypass the baby and squeeze the bottle into the toilet directly haha! I don’t think the doll actually helped in the training process, but it did give her something fun to play with while sitting on the potty and she enjoyed having a new toy 😉
We are now about 6 weeks total time since Britt first used the potty. I feel confident in saying she’s “awake time” trained. We no longer give her treats at all for staying dry or for going to the potty and we rarely even check her for dryness. When she uses the potty, we cheer and we do “the potty dance” which is her twisting her arms around and around. So cute 😉 Actually it is SO cute that I took three different videos of her doing it. And I know yall totally wanna hear me get crunk and singing some potty songs 😉 Here’s video 1, video 2, and video 3! (I mean let’s be real, I could totally be a millionaire if I recorded some of my “potty crunk songs” and released an album haha!)
We do take her often (right when she gets up, right before going to bed, right before leaving to go somewhere, right before meal times, etc) but we can often just ask her if she needs to go potty and she will either sign “all done” for “no” or pant like a dog (i know, random way of communication haha) to say “yes.” She has had very very few accidents and we typically don’t even put the pull up on top of the panties when we go and do things. If we are going to be gone for a long period of time we will put it on over the panties but honestly she has NEVER had a single accident when we are away from the house! She LOVES to use public potties which is hilarious to me haha.
We do not use the potty chair and instead just have her sit on the toilet using the potty pull down seat we have. I personally prefer the potty chair b/c you can always tell when they go and it’s a little trickier to know if she’s gone or not in the big toilet but she likes it better so we will go with it!
I have always heard that girls are easier to train than boys and I do think that is probably true. A lot of the “hardness” in training Britt was that we tried to do everything the same way we did with Kye. If Britt had been our only child I don’t think I would have been as stressed about taking her potty so often or making her sit there for so long. Once I did some research and read that it’s okay for a kid not to poop but like every 3 days and it’s okay for them not to go tee tee super often (as long as they go every 8 hours it’s fine) I felt WAY less pressure to get her to “go” and by relaxing about it she did better.
This process really showed me how smart Britt is. She caught onto all the concepts SO quickly for a kid so young and it’s been an opportunity for us to feel like we KNOW her so much better. I am SOOOOO proud of her for being such a big girl and also so thankful for Kye as his awesome example def helped make the process easier! He is her biggest cheerleader and even now screams and shouts and runs around the house like a crazy person every time she goes in the potty!
While this took a little longer than I would have liked for it to take, I think it turned out SO great considering that I had pretty major surgery right in the middle of training! I give a lot of the credit of Britt’s success to Zach and especially to Mrs. Charlotte. I’m so appreciative of them for being so on board with all of it and taking it so seriously! I no longer feel that Kye’s successful training at a young age was “luck” and feel very confident that we will continue to have future children potty trained before the ages of two as well.
I know this was a SUPER long and detailed post so I’m going to write up my tips for the potty training process as a quick reference for anyone going through the experience! I know early training is not for everyone. I have many friends who prefer to wait until their children are older to train them. It’s not one of those “right or wrong” type things. It’s totally personal preference but for Zach and I we prefer to get out of diapers as quickly as we can and don’t mind devoting the time and energy to the early training process!